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I Got Your White Rim TT

27 Apr

I forgot how hard it is to ride the White Rim in one day. I did the Moab Rim Ride last month (not to be confused with the White Rim) and felt great even after 10hr 30min of riding. In contrast the White Rim only took about 8 hours and while I felt great afterwards I really suffered for about an hour from miles 40-50, I mean really suffered. I’m telling you the Moab Rim Ride was easier.

You would think that after having ridden the White Rim literally dozens of time over the years that I would remember how hard it is. No. I disrespected it and it punished me.

On with the story. You know what I really love about living in Utah? I love being able to drive to Moab at 5 a.m. in the morning, ride 100 miles around the White Rim and then drive home that same day. No camping and the family woulda thought that I just had a late day at the office, you know, if I had an office. If I did it would look like this:

Nine of us started at 8:30 and rode counter-clockwise. We all had our own personal goals and the social aspect of the ride ended abruptly after what could loosely be called a “neutral” roll-out when we descended Horse Thief after about 12 miles. Adam and Rick S took off down the switchbacks too fast to witness the carnage of Aaron’s crash. It must have looked a lot worse than it turned out to be as he was somehow able put himself back together and actually finish the ride, I woulda bailed for sure.

After making sure Aaron knew how many fingers he had and that his bike was working the rest of us took off. I chased as hard as I could and wouldn’t see Rick until the bottom of Murphy’s Hogback nearly 40 miles later. I had been pedaling so fast and furious to try and catch those two that by the time I did I completely imploded and then they were both gone again not to be seen for a very long time.

I thought the White Rim TT would also be a great time to test out a future product, lets call it CR 350, and really wasn’t sure how things would play out. I had mixed 4-24 oz water bottles with 300 calories each and planned on drinking one bottle per hour. I also had the equivalent of 3-24 oz water bottles in my Camelbak mixed to 350 calories each. I failed to take in enough of the mix in the first few hours with only 2 bottles consumed by Murphy’s. I completely seized up at Murphy’s. Lesson quickly learned, I need more calories per hour than 200.

I started downing the higher calorie content drink and began to feel much better. So much better that over the next 3 hours or so I would eventually catch up to Rick S and Adam. I felt like a million dollars for those last few hours, literally better than I had felt all day and would finish in 8:05 feeling great.

There were several other groups doing the White Rim that day all starting from different places and times but all had to pass the spot where our group started and finished so I got to cheer on a few fellow White Rimmer’s. Here’s some of my favorite pics.

Bry Christensen, possibly the nicest person in the world, needs a new helmet. Yes, I’m starting a fund raiser for Bry. I really want him to get a new helmet don’t you? If you look close you can even see hot glue gun glue holding his helmet together in various places. He’s worn that same helmet for the last 13 years, gross.

Ever wonder what to do with used GU packets? Solution: make sure to invite Rick S. along for the ride, he collects them. In his shorts no less, weird.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen Adam in this position after a monster ride, he always looks so comfy as if he’s been eating bon-bon’s all day and sipping fine cognac.

I’m already obsessing about doing this again, trying for 7:30. I’m thinking a harder gear. The 34×20 was good for the climbs but 95% of the ride begs for something bigger. I think I’d rather walk a few more of the climbs and go faster on the flats. I’ll also buy a watch with a timer to remind me to drink that 350 calories an hour. How does end of May or first of June sound?

I’m A Mountain Biker Now

21 Apr

I haven’t been on my road bike since Hell of the North but have been on my mountain bike nearly every day since so it’s safe to say I’m back to being a full time mountain biker.

It feels good to be a mountain biker. I rode Frank N Betty in the UC this week and can’t believe I’ve never ridden Betty. Wow! Thanks Ricky and Miles for showing me the way, the truth, the light that is Utah County trail. That shit is steep and nasty! Just the way I like it.

OK, It’s that 100 miles of RAWROD time of year and unfortunately I wont’ be able to ride with the big group on Saturday so the Friday TT is the next best (better? Nah.) thing.

It’s now been 2 years since I did a TT of the White Rim and my goal for Friday is to do it under 7:30. That will make me a mountain biker for sure, no?  Check back Sunday or Monday or Tuesday for a White Rim update.  Should be fun or at least completely miserable.


27 Apr

At this very minute Kenny, Adam and Bart are getting ready to start the White Rim.  They will be doing it twice, once today and again tomorrow with the RAWROD gang.  I’m a little jealous that I’m not starting it with them.  Since I’m not there I hope it’s really windy and they have a couple flats, nothing serious as long they don’t set a blazing record time.  Not really, OK, maybe a little really.

I wrote the above paragraph on Friday morning but never got around to posting anything.  Since I wished them wind I guess it’s only karmic that we got wind on Saturday.  In spades.  I take complete responsibility.  So much wind that I am still getting sand under my fingernails when I scratch my head.  Maybe I should shower.

I’ve ridden around the White Rim at least a dozen times probably more like 15 times over the years and this year just might have been the most difficult and the most crowded.  I think we had over 70 riders.

The day started out nice enough with donuts mooched from dug, Vietnamese coffee and a cocoa pistachio Probar for breakfast.  After descending Shaeffer we were greeted with a nasty head wind all the way to White Crack at mile 55.  At White Crack we waited for the sag wagons so we could refill our empty water bottles.  We waited.  Waited some more,  got cold, blasted by sand, waited and then got sandblasted again.  The sag wagons finally showed up and the group, actually, mob or crowd better describes it, quickly drained somewhere between 20-30 gallons of water.

Next stop, Murphy’s Hogback. The 10 miles to Murphy’s may have been the only time we had the wind at our backs but we were then greeted with more gusts of wind, cold and rain.  Nobody was in any mood for the traditional group photo and it quickly became every person for themselves as people began heading for home in hopes of beating the storm.

I rode with Rick S, Jonathan James and Steve Wasmund for the next 20 or so miles to Hardscrabble.  Ouch!  The hardest section of the day.  Huge wind, no time to fuel for fear of dropping off the back of the train, and false corner after false corner.  “Yeah, everyone, that’s Hardscrabble over there.”  I was sure of it.  Many, many false hills and corners later we hit Hardscrabble where Rick S. showed me exactly what he thought of my navigational skills with a one finger salute.

Once you’ve made it to Hardscrabble you know you’ve made it.  A nice little downhill and a few rolling miles puts you at the bottom of Horsethief where you could walk or crawl to the finish.

RAWROD 09 totally kicked my corn.  It hurt in more  ways and in more places than I thought possible.  At least I learned a few things.

Lessons learned:

  • Don’t forget camera
  • Never invite anyone as they all show up anyway
  • Get a prescription for Ambien
  • Get some new shorts, no pair should ever go around White Rim more than once
  • Don’t disturb Elden after he’s taken Ambien
  • Never say, “we’re almost there”
  • Don’t forget the CarboRocket
  • Stock up on cocoa pistachio Probars
  • There’s no shame in walking
  • Always send the Sunderlages ahead to Rays to order burgers for everyone
  • Hug your spouse, you could be married to Jilene.  I’m just kidding Jilene, really.


29 Apr

As I was suffering up the switchbacks on Friday I was thinking that I just wanted to go home and that no way am I doing this again tomorrow. I don’t care what kind of heckling I have to endure. Maybe I’ll just ramble around camp all day clipping my toenails and waiting for everyone or go float down the river. Anything but getting back on that stupid damn dork bike again.

Of course, I changed my mind as soon as everyone started showing up that night bringing excitement and nervous energy to camp. Most importantly, I certainly didn’t want to miss out on being witness to any of the suffering that I knew would take place.

Here’s Mark Warner already in the fetal position at the half way point.

Surprisingly, there seemed to be very little suffering or people were just really good at hiding it.

That’s the longest tongue I’ve ever seen.

The highlight of the day for me was riding with and watching Eric complete his first RAWROD. The dude has never been on a bike for longer than 2 hours in his life and he did it on a rigid bike no less. Sorry, no props for the single speed because we all know its the easy way out but way to go bro! I also really dig the Highland Games kit you were sporting. Is that a kilt?

I don’t think I saw a single person finish who didn’t have a smile plastered on their face. Of course, how could you not smile when someone hands you a brew?

Even BotchedExperiment Dan was grinning or is he gritting his his teeth to keep the vomit in? He is looking a little pasty.

Friday was hard and not very enjoyable but it was incredibly satisfying. I ate nothing but gels and blocks. Saturday was just a total blast and I ate nothing but cookies, licorice and lots of mooched food. I loved every minute of it except for about 8 min at mile 80ish when I decided that I had had enough of sitting on a bike seat and pedaling in circles. Kenny and I had a cold brew at the top of Hardscrabble and I immediately felt better.

So much better that I began thinking that the back to back RAWROD should become a tradition. Who’s in?

I took a lot pictures of people climbing Murphy’s and at the top of Horse Thief. Help yourself.